Truth is a fragile thing, don’t you think?
In fact, many see it to be fractured into as many pieces as there are people.
I have my truth. You have your truth. And as long as they don’t step on each other we can both live together in this world amicably.
Of course, when we’re talking about truth in this sense we are talking about much more than just “truth”: we are discussing one person’s biases, experiences, beliefs — in short, their worldview. I see the world my way. I have my truth. You see the world your way, and you have yours. This is the theory of relativity writ personal. Time and space are relative. So, according to this “social” or “moral” relativity, is the foundation for good and evil, right and wrong, falsehood and reality. To quote the motto of the editor-in-chief at a tech site that I thoroughly enjoy and read quite often: “That’s your moral compass, but what good is it to me?”
This way of thinking is incredibly prevalent in our culture today. In a sense, it is the next evolution of the American dream. (What could be more American than the absolute autonomy of the individual, even down to the moral basis of his or her being?) So we have Miley Cyrus swinging around naked on the back of a wrecking ball or doing strange, obscene things at a music awards show, then declaring “I just want to have fun!” and waxing eloquent that “If people can take their minds out of the obvious and go into their imagination a little bit and see kind of what the video really means and the way it’s so vulnerable…” In other words, we are welcome to join, but we are not allowed to judge.
Now, here comes the shocker: I actually kind of agree with that. In fact, even the Bible tells it’s followers “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.” (Romans 2:1 – ESV)
What I take issue with is the presumed definition of relative truth.
I love the movie “Furious Love”, and I highly recommend that everyone watches it. (You can learn about it here.) And in that movie there is a quote from a man named Jan Sjoerd Pasterkamp that has stuck with me ever since the first time I watched the film. He says: “There was an interview with a Dutch historian. They asked him about the Dutch church, and he made the most interesting remark. He said we have dozens of Protestant denominations and Christian groups because, he said, to the Dutch person truth is more important than unity. And after I heard it, I thought I would try to say in a whole sermon what you just said in a single sentence. Because what is truth? What he thought of truth and rightly analyzed is my interpretation of the Bible. My dogmatic fuse. My doctrinal fuse. But Jesus said ‘I am the truth.’ Truth is not a teaching: truth is a person.”
Truth is not a teaching. Truth is not a belief system or a moral compass. Truth is a person.
What if the truth that seemed so fragile at the outset is really the foundation of the entire cosmos, the force that creates and shapes and instills life at every moment? What if truth is the Reality that breathes just beneath the surface?
Let’s go a step further. The Bible also says something else that’s interesting: it says that “God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)
If truth is God, and God is love, then the truth is love.
In the same place, the Bible also says, “[W]hoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God[.]”
Maybe the truth we all are desperately, secretly longing for but burying beneath our “moral compasses” and personal rights and wrongs is none other than Love. Not a frilly, empty, vapid love, not bubble-gum pop love, but the kind of Love that would die for you, that would care about you unconditionally, that would lift you out of whatever dark, torpid mire you find yourself in and call you the sole desire of His heart.
Personally, I think that’s the kind of Truth even tech journalists and Miley Cyrus could get on board with.